The world tour of Hugh Jackman’s new show The Man. The Music. The Show. has already been announced internationally, but today Jackman confirmed that the production will come to Australia in August, produced by TEG Dainty.

Hugh Jackman. Photograph © Sam Grimmer

In a media launch at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Jackman – one of Australia’s greatest showmen – said that the concert performance will feature hit songs from the 2017 film The Greatest Showman, in which he starred as P.T. Barnum, as well as Les Misérables and other films and Broadway shows with which he has been associated, including The Boy From Oz. As with his arena production Broadway to Oz, which he performed here in 2015, he will be accompanied by a live orchestra and an ensemble of dancers.

Jackman opened the press event with a performance of A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman, accompanied by the Australian Girls’ Choir. In news that will thrill fans of the movie, he then presented Keala Settle, who played the film’s bearded lady Lettie Lutz, and said that she will make a special guest appearance on the tour singing the Golden Globe Award-winning song This Is Me.

Hugh Jackman and Keala Settle. Photograph © Sam Grimmer

Jackman said that other guest artists will also put in appearances. “One of the things I love when I go to see a show is that feeling of something happened tonight that could not happen anywhere else or any other night. Hopefully it’s not a mistake…. But I have guests coming on various parts of the tour. I can’t obviously tell you who, but I definitely have plans.”

Jackman, who opened the 2019 Brit Awards last week with a rapturously received performance of the song The Greatest Show, said that he was excited about performing songs from The Greatest Showman live. “I get videos literally every single day from kids, from birthday parties, choirs – you name it – pubs, karaoke bars, and to see how that music has really captured the imagination of a lot of people and makes them feel… it’s kind of an incredible privilege and I pinch myself every single day,” he said.

Hugh Jackman’s Singing Q&A. Video © Sam Grimmer

Andy Lee joined Jackman on stage and did a singing Q&A with him to the tune of What a Swell Party from High Society. Asked by Lee how he was preparing for the show, Jackman said he has been working on his dancing. “This show has got a lot of dancing in it and my choreographer likes to think I’m 25 years of age, so my knees are bending in ways they haven’t in a while,” said Jackman, who is now 50.

Hugh Jackman. Photograph © Sam Grimmer

Jackman got his first big break in Australia when he played Gaston in the musical Beauty and the Beast. He then played Joe in Sunset Boulevard, directed by Trevor Nunn, who subsequently took him to London to play Curly in Oklahoma! at the National Theatre. Jackman’s numerous credits since then include The Boy From Oz and Wolverine in the X-Men franchise. He received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper’s film Les Misérables, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for The Greatest Showman, the soundtrack of which won a Grammy Award and  became the best-selling album of 2018.

Jackman said that as a performer he is probably at his happiest on stage, saying: “From the moment I walk on, in fact before I walk out onto the stage I always stand in the wings because just hearing that chatter of people getting ready; that anticipation for me reminds me of some of the best times of my life. So I do absolutely love it.”

The world tour of The Man. The Music. The Show. plays in Sydney, August 2 – 3, Adelaide, August 10 – 11, Melbourne, August 16 – 17, Perth, August 21 & 24, and Brisbane on August 31. Tickets go on sale on Thursday March 7 at 9.30am AEDT.